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The North Wind

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I used to be a Midwesterner.  Specifically, Minnesotan.  My last many years in that part of the country were very difficult ones and my great ally became the winter.

I was in the dying days of my nearly 25-year marriage and far far from home.  With no safe or kind spaces to hold me, I began to transform.  The soft and warm parts of me that were once so human and full of life began to cool and harden until the heart of me was stone.  I moved around like a woman in a slow-motion nightmare.  Shrinking, hardening, numb.

And then the North Wind. 

Extreme Calls For Extreme

Minnesota winters are very cold.  In fact, a little town called Cook was one of the seven coldest places on the Earth.  We’re talking tens and tens and tens of degrees below zero and then add wind, specifically the North Wind.  This is a very inhospitable temperature reality for humans and animals, vehicles and heat bills.  But for the stone I had become, it somehow soothed me.  Sometimes extreme calls for extreme so I bought myself some cross-country skis, geared up in thermals and layers, and headed out onto the frozen lake to seek life.

The more time I spent on the lake, the less I needed to protect myself from the cold.  In fact, I became the cold, stripping off warm layers to more fully inhabit the world of ice and wind that sheltered me. It was counter-intuitive in a place where dying from exposure was a risk, but when my friend, the North Wind, would rage, whipping up the surface ice until the landscape was belligerently ridged and impossible to ski, I felt alive!


I left Minnesota like a refugee fleeing in the night and made my way home.  The rending and shifting of that journey broke open the stone in me and there was a bruised and beating thing inside.  It took years of gentle reassurance and healing to coax my heart back into a brave and warm rhythm.  Hearts are amazing and resilient creatures, compasses pointing us toward home.

Last night we got some snow!  That’s always a bit of a surprise around here in our temperate Pacific Northwest climate.  But when the doggies and I stepped outside for our morning walk, it all made sense.  I was greeted by my old friend, the North Wind, stinging my eyes, massaging ache into my bones.  It was good to be out in the crisp morning sunlight.  But it was even better to be back in the warmth and snugness of my home.  I’m a creature of the light these days, of flow and life and love.  It sure is good to be home.

If you’re happy to be home, or you’re seeking home, or you’re homesick, let’s be friends~ 

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